3 Healthcare Trends to Watch for in 2017

3 Healthcare Trends to Watch for in 2017

If one thing is a constant in the healthcare field, it’s that things are always changing. With new and evolving regulations, emerging technologies and advanced treatment options, there are few industries quite as dynamic and exciting to be a part of. If you are currently in or plan on pursuing a career in the healthcare field, it can be helpful to have an idea of what trends and changes might be coming down the pipeline. To make things a bit easier, we’ve pinpointed three specific areas where we believe there will be a shift in the landscape over the next year.

Technological Breakthroughs

Thanks to things like Big Data, cloud technology and enhanced information security features, technology is expected to infiltrate just about every area of healthcare in the months to come. Expect a more widespread adoption of things like remote monitoring, mobile applications, home delivery and the latest and greatest in medical technology: telehealth. These advances will increase availability as well as improve accessibility and overall quality of care, while simultaneously reducing costs.

From a training and education standpoint, there will be a noticeable increase in the number of medical professionals seeking newer, better and more convenient ways to fulfill their continuing education needs and requirements. For example, with the ability to obtain online medical certification, healthcare professionals will have the option to learn when and where it best suits their busy schedules.

Continued Workforce Growth

It’s a widely accepted projection that the healthcare industry will continue to grow and expand, particularly as new and better technology is developed and adopted. This will open the door for additional roles and responsibilities. Meanwhile, most experts believe that a good number of existing healthcare practitioners are going to begin shifting their focus to long-term prevention and more personalized care.

And as new breakthroughs are made in how we approach wellness and health management, the addition of other ancillary specialists, such as nutritionists, physical therapists, health coaches, care coordinators and even social workers will also begin crossing over into the marketplace, working in tandem with doctors, nurses and others to deliver more holistic, comprehensive care. Many institutions have also already begun leveraging clinical aides to reduce the need for patients to see doctors, thereby improving the overall experience.

Longer & Healthier Lives

America Increased Life Expectancy - ProMedCert
Thanks in large part to the above two trends, members of society as a whole are expected to live longer, healthier lives, requiring minimal medical care over the years. While this isn't exactly a new trend (American life expectancy has been increasing for some time), 2017 will continue to be a year where we see people living longer hence an increase in elderly patients. And with the advent of things like mobile applications and on-demand healthcare advice, most health issues that do arise can and will be handled right at home, without the need to make an appointment and head to the clinic to be seen.

It’s also anticipated that fewer people – even those who are seriously ill - will have the need to visit hospitals to receive care. Those seeking answers will be able to access the information they need much more quickly and effectively. Insurance providers are already taking measures to ensure that high-risk or high-cost patients will be able to receive the care they need outside of a hospital stay.

Whatever the medical industry has in store, one thing is for certain. There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in this dynamic and ever-changing field. These are merely three of the countless changes we expect to see over the coming months and years.

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